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Family of Deltona man shot by deputies during narcotics search to get $500,000
Cruice's family (in the background) with their lawyer Mark NeJame, as he speaks to the press after State Attorney R.J. Larizza announced his office would not seek criminal charges against Deputy Todd Raible in October 2015.
BEACON PHOTO/KITTY ALLEN
Derek Cruice, who was 26 when he was shot and killed in March 2015.
PHOTO COURTESY SHEILA CRUICE
Volusia County will pay $500,000 to the family of Derek Cruice, the 26-year-old man shot and killed by a deputy attempting to serve a narcotics search warrant at Cruice’s Deltona home in March 2015.
The settlement, negotiated by the family and the county, was unanimously approved by the Volusia County Council, as part of the council’s consent agenda for its April 21 meeting.
That meeting agenda also recounted details of the shooting that took place at 6 a.m. March 4, 2015. It happened at a home on Maybrook Drive in Deltona, where it was believed Cruice and his girlfriend lived. The warrant had been issued to search for “controlled substances and associated paraphernalia,” the agenda item states.
Cruice was one of six adults — four men and two women — in the home when the narcotics team arrived, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.
Just inside the doorway, Deputy Todd Raible fired once, striking Cruice in the face, the Sheriff’s Office said in the days after the incident.
The agenda item recounts:
“Derek Cruice was the subject of an ongoing narcotics investigation. Mr. Cruice and his girlfriend were known to live at the residence. …
“Two uniformed deputies twice knocked on the front door and announced themselves as members of the Volusia County Sheriff's Office. A male opened the door and was taken outside by one of the deputies.
“At the same time, the entry team advanced to the front door of the residence. Because of his training and experience, Deputy Todd Raible was the member of the entry team to reach the front door. When Deputy Raible attempted to enter, the door would not open.
“Deputy Raible believed someone was holding the door shut from the inside of the residence. Deputy Raible was ordered to kick the door open and when he kicked a second time, the door suddenly swung open.
“Although a porch light was on, the interior of the house was dark. As Deputy Raible entered the house while announcing ‘Sheriff's Office,’ he was confronted with an individual coming towards him.
“Deputy Raible told the individual, later identified as Derek Cruice, to put his hands up. Deputy Raible saw Mr. Cruice [sic] left hand and right shoulder move forward with his left hand extending towards the deputy's chest.
“Believing Mr. Cruice was armed and threatening, Deputy Raible discharged his weapon. After the shooting, it was discovered that Derek Cruise [sic] did not have a weapon.”
Raible had been hired by the Sheriff's Office in March 2005. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigated the shooting, and the State Attorney’s Office did not pursue criminal charges against Raible.
Cruice’s mother, through her attorney, served the county notice of intent to sue, and alleged “violations of the constitutional rights of Mr. Cruice,” according to the agenda item, which continues, “Staff recommends a compromised [sic] resolution as in the interest of the public and of all involved in this tragic incident; and therefore requests authorization of $500,000 as full and complete settlement of this matter.”
—Kate Kowsh, firstname.lastname@example.org